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|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 21:46:36|
Colchester United v Morecambe prediction logged
|Shrimps to be potted by Super U's at Fortress WHCS|
at 21:45 17 Nov 2017
Saturday sees the first of our double header home games against Morecambe under the tutelage of Jim Bentley and Ken McKenna, before Danny Cowley and his Imps from Lincoln arrive on Tuesday night.
Both matches will be interesting affairs, Morecambe are putting together a decent run of victories and Lincoln are just above the Super U’s in the table. Two wins and we will be in the top seven places. Bring it on.
I note that Jose Mourinho surprisingly can name Zlatan, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rojo in his squad for the visit of Newcastle. Sadly, JM cannot yet name Prosser, Dickenson, Guthrie, Murray and Senior in his squad. They will return to cement our top three place later in the season. With 29 more league games to play there are plenty of points to obtain if we are to achieve Automatic Promotion. That surely must be the aim now.
JM has been talking about team spirit and Kane Vincent-Young has talked about honesty. Clearly the dressing room is buzzing at present and the U’s must be careful not to allow complacency into the ranks.
Concentration will be required to ensure that the decent league form can continue. After all, Notts County, Exeter and Swindon will all be challenging games prior to Christmas. Oxford City denied us the chance of successive games against the Magpies, so we must make the most of our chance to improve on a wretched run of results at Meadow Lane.
Still back to this weekend and the visit of the Shrimps, who demonstrated that this league is no respecter of league positions with a hard-earned win against the Chairboys last time out.
Now we owe Morecambe after their 88th minute penalty last season cost us two vital points that would have secured seventh place and a chance at the play offs. Ultimately, we came up short and perhaps the old maxim about the league table never lying was correct, we were not good enough to go up, but another year later we can secure a promotion spot.
Morecambe will be looking to add to their mini revival and with the result against Oxford City still reverberating around the WHCS it is up to the players to put things right tomorrow. This will be our third meeting against Morecambe and we have yet to win after two drawn games last season.
Christmas shopping notwithstanding, there should be a decent crowd after the disaster to close much of the stadium a fortnight ago.
JM could be tempted to start the same team that played and won at Barnet, but he must play Sammie Szmodics and so must decide who to stand down:
The keeper and back three pick themselves, but the conundrum is midfield. Jackson, Loft, Vincent-Young are certs but who to join them. Lapslie (Marmite) will be keen to play but what about Slater, Reid and Comley. A couple will miss out because Mandron and Wright and Hanlan wish to play also.
Well we are at home and, so I would expect to see a 3,4,1,2 formation something like this:
Eastman Inniss Kent
Jackson Lapslie Loft Vincent-Young
Gilmartin Kpekawa Kinsella Comley O’Sullivan Slater Wright
The faithful will be salivating when Dickenson and Guthrie are match fit, but we still unfortunately have time to wait.
We will of course have shipped out Kabamba and Odelusi by then.
A cold night tonight in North Essex, about 2 degrees but sunshine and 9 degrees tomorrow. Pitch superb and a good atmosphere generated by the faithful.
Enjoy the game, if results go our way we could be seventh tomorrow night.
Up the U’s
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 23:54:26|
Barnet v Colchester United prediction logged
|Super U's to sting the Bees at the Hive on Saturday|
at 23:51 10 Nov 2017
Fresh from back to back Cup defeats (Oxford City have drawn Notts Co away in Round 2 of the FA Cup whilst Scummend go to Peterboro in Round 2 of the Checkatrade Trophy) JM aims to secure more away points at the Hive this weekend against Barnet.
JM and MM both lost out to Nathan Jones and Tom Pope respectively in the EFL League Two awards. So, no curse of the MOTM then on Saturday!!!
Instead and with no more Cup distractions (Essex Senior Cup notwithstanding) Colchester must be looking to take maximum points at the Hive. Barnet will have dangerous striker Shaquile Coulthirst available, but Richard Brindley is out for the North London side.
The upbeat reports and comments have been hardly justified this week after the embarrassment of defeat to lowly Oxford City, then JM picked a team that was never at the races at Scummend on Tuesday night.
One thing is becoming clear, Kabamba, Odelusi, Comley and Hanlan will be making a Le Mans start out of the WHCS on 1 January 2018. I’m afraid that none have lived up to the expectations when they signed on loan. Kyel Reid should be encouraged to sign on until May though and to stay along with Ryan Inniss (who is on a season long loan already).
Pompey didn’t want Kabamba cup tied but now both teams are out of the F A Cup it is rather irrelevant. Unless he can prove me wrong, I am neither impressed with him nor with the other three loanees.
We desperately need Prosser, Guthrie and Dickenson back but although we might see Guthrie before Christmas the others will not be back before February time.
The players and JM owe the supporters a performance and a result, let us see if JM will be brave enough to attack Barnet on Saturday.
Eastman Inniss Kent
Jackson Vincent-Young Slater Reid
Gilmartin Kinsella O’Sullivan Kpekawa Lapslie Hanlan James
Please release Comley, Kabamba and Odelusi back to their clubs early.
A victory could move the U’s up to the top ten on Saturday, with a double header against Morecambe and Lincoln to come, a top seven spot could be the on the cards by December.
One thing is certain, there has been much talk about promotion and top of the form table! Let’s see some actual results now to put the disappointment of the cups behind us.
Safe journey for the 400+ faithful.
Enjoy the game.
Let’s hope the U’s are buzzing at 4.50pm
Up the U’s
|No excuses this evening for the U's at Roots Hall|
at 18:35 7 Nov 2017
JM takes his beleaguered and embarrassed charges to Roots Hall tonight for the vital Checkatrade Trophy game, which the U’s need to win if they are to progress.
After their abject performance on Saturday, the local derby gives the ideal opportunity for the U’s to secure bragging rights and a vital win against Phil (Orange) Brown’s team.
It is ironic that JM is up for the Manager of the Month Award for October and Mikael Mandron is one of the players vying for an award. Neither JM nor Mandron covered themselves in glory at the weekend and frankly had Mandron scored early doors we might have secured the comfortable win against Oxford City that the majority of supporters forecast.
The decision not to open certain stands led to a hopeless 1,775 crowd and the atmosphere was clearly missing for the Cup tie. One thing is certain Notts County will see the Oxford team off in Round 2 as we should most certainly have done.
The players owe the long-suffering supporters a result and JM must field a strong team. Anthony Wordsworth may not play for the hosts this evening, but Brown has said that he will also field a strong side after their F A Cup defeat to Yeovil on Saturday.
I am more concerned that JM is playing some of his best players out of position. Reid is a winger and Wright is also an attacker, neither should be misemployed in the team and there is no excuse when JM has plenty of options to choose from.
Pompey did not want Kabamba cup tied but they of course lost at Luton, so JM should show some faith in the lad and put him up front with Mandron
I would play something along the following lines:
Eastman Inniss Kent
Jackson Slater Lapslie Reid
Wright Mandron Kabamba
Walker Kpekawa Kinsella Vincent-Young Szmodics Odelusi Hanlan
Nothing more to say, the players should need no encouragement to put in a decent performance against their local rivals and to hopefully progress in the trophy game.
Of course, the game on Saturday is arguably more important but JM will not want to be eliminated from two cups in the space of a few days.
Enjoy the game
Up the U’s
|The magic of the Cup comes to the WHCS|
at 21:37 3 Nov 2017
JM is surely looking forward to the magic of the F A Cup this weekend with a home tie against non-league Oxford City. After the rigours of the league this will not only be a welcome distraction but also the chance for the U’s to start to dream of another glory tie against one of the Premier League’s big six teams.
Now of course the team and management are all making the right noises; no complacency, not taking anything for granted, being professional etc but in fairness and with no disrespect to the National League South side, they should be well beaten at the WHCS on Saturday.
Oxford City, managed by Mark Jones, have nothing to lose and absolutely no pressure on them as they prepare to face the Super U’s. They have a history that can be traced back to 1884 and their motto is “Fortis est Veritas” – Truth is strong! They sit 21st in the National League South and have not won in the league since August, but they are unbeaten in the Cup!
Tomorrow is not a day for sentiment, JM must ensure that Colchester put them well and truly to the sword. 5-0 would be the correct sort of result for this encounter.
There has been talk this week that both Kane Vincent-Young and Sammie Szmodics are close to a return but tomorrow is too soon for them both. Southend on Tuesday may be the opportunity to ease them back ahead of the important game at Barnet the following Saturday.
Pompey have asked that Kabamba not be considered because they do not want him cup tied, although they have a difficult tie at Luton to overcome first.
Marmite will be back after his suspension and the impressive Doug Loft appears to be gaining more match minutes every week. Guthrie, Dickenson and Prosser all remain long term injuries, but it will be great to have them back in the New Year.
I hope that JM plays a strong team something along these lines in a 3,4,3 formation:
Eastman Inniss Kent
Jackson Loft Lapslie Reid
Wright Mandron Hanlan
Gilmartin Kpekawa Kinsella O’Sullivan Odelusi Comley Slater
After Mikael Mandron scored his first ever league brace, he must be rating his chances of a hat trick against Oxford tomorrow. The key will be to start quickly and score early to ease any potential banana skins and then to ensure that the U’s superior fitness holds sway.
The weather tomorrow in North Essex is set for rain showers and occasional sunny intervals with a high of 12 degrees Celsius. The pitch will be pristine and will not require watering!
Despite the controversial nature of the closure of certain stands, the faithful will be willing the Super U’s to a handsome victory.
Enjoy the game.
Up the U’s
|Col U to ensure that Porter and Crewe are truly up the Junction at the WHCS|
at 21:59 27 Oct 2017
JM returns to home league action at the WHCS on Saturday after more creditable Away performances which have seen Col U climb to 15th in the table. Three more points against the Railwaymen is the order of the day.
Last season the U’s ended their hoodoo at home against Crewe with a thumping 4-0 win. A similar scoreline tomorrow would be just what the Doctor ordered but of course former U’s favourite Chris Porter returns to the ground where he was top scorer and would surely like to score against his old club. Interestingly Chris Dagnall is one of those players who is more likely to score against the U’s but as long as we score at least one more than Crewe, then the majority of the fans at the WHCS will go home happy.
Crewe sit 17th in the table with recent disappointing results after a bright start to the season. Dave Artell will be looking to improve upon their poor away form and this is one of those games where we need to hit the ground running and score early.
JM will be looking to secure a 4th Home Victory of the season ahead of next week’s F A Cup tie against Oxford City.
The good news tomorrow is that Kyel Reid is free to play after missing the Coventry City game because of the terms of his loan deal.
Marmite is suspended after falling on the ball and foolishly handling it at the Ricoh. It may have been a harsh sending off but having just been booked deliberate handball was a stupid offence to commit. It does at least allow JM to play Murray and Slater together with Jackson and Reid alongside.
Likely team in a 3,4,3 formation:
Eastman Inniss Kent
Jackson Slater Murray Reid
Wright Mandron Hanlan
Gilmartin Kpekawa Kinsella Comley O’Sullivan Kabamba Odelusi
The weather is looking good in North Essex tomorrow, the pitch will be pristine, time to derail the Railwaymen and continue our march towards the top seven in league Two.
Enjoy the game.
Up the U’s
|Super U's to ensure that City are feeling Blue at 4.50pm today|
at 13:09 21 Oct 2017
JM takes his buoyant charges to the Ricoh Arena to play the Sky Blues managed by Mark Robins.
Now forget all the guff about Coventry City being a “big club” with a nice stadium and a large supporter base. They’re now in the basement league because they were not good enough to stay in league one last season.
After a decent start to the campaign they have found the going to be tougher than perhaps anticipated and this culminated in a defeat to basement team Forest Green on Tuesday night. The home support will be depleted by one after the lifetime ban rightly awarded to one of their clowns who attacked the Forest Green players after the game.
Colchester by contrast will have been buoyed by the result in South Wales after the disappointment of the home defeat to the Cumbrians. Yes, football is all about results and each result is disseminated and cogitated over by the club, the supporters, the media in an attempt to either justify a poor performance or bask in the reflected glory of a decent one.
Sadly, I can’t be at the Ricoh today to see Colchester win again on the road. Other engagements hold sway. In truth I loathe Coventry since the FA Cup tie at Highfield Road in 2004 when my younger son was hit by a metal object thrown by a Coventry yob when we took the lead. Colchester deservedly won the replay and I received on my son’s behalf a written apology from the then Coventry chairman but the incident could have been so much worse had it hit him directly instead of rebounding from the back of the seat he was occupying.
Returning to today, Mark Robins was a good professional footballer and he will be hoping to secure promotion for the Sky Blues this season. The pressure is on them and it is up to JM to ensure that Colchester play to their strengths to give Coventry a hard time today.
It is a shame that Kyel Reid cannot play this afternoon, the terms of his loan prevent it but he was treated shabbily by Coventry and many of the so-called Sky-Blue fans comments towards him have been vitriolic at best.
So, who does JM start with this afternoon. I suspect a 3, 5, 2 formation which should include the following:
Eastman Inniss Kent
Jackson Lapslie Murray Slater Wright
Gilmartin Kpekawa James Kabamba Odelusi Kinsella O’Sullivan
A decent pitch, large stadium, perhaps a 7,000 crowd that will need to be quietened early doors and the U’s faithful in good voice. Safe journey to the travelling Colchester supporters, enjoy the game and three more points in an entertaining game.
Up the U’s
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 09:39:52|
Coventry City v Colchester United prediction logged
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 16:07:19|
Newport County v Colchester United prediction logged
|U's to spring a surprise at the Exiles home this evening|
at 16:06 17 Oct 2017
Fresh from a disappointing result against Carlisle, JM takes his charges to a rejuvenated Newport County team at the “new” Rodney Parade. The Exiles have re-laid their pitch and are unbeaten since March 2017. Mike Flynn has produced some impressive results and they are currently 6th in the table with 24 points from 13 games.
Frankly Colchester’s finishing against the Cumbrians was woeful and they must do much better this evening in South Wales. On Saturday they travel to Coventry City, a team that we have a wretched record against and a team that I loathe entirely. In order to prepare properly for the Ricoh, three points this evening would not only be helpful but also would raise confidence levels.
JM has already said that he will not risk players who have been injured coming back into the side too soon, but he made the mistake of playing Kurtis Guthrie albeit as a substitute and he has now suffered a setback in his return to the first team.
Therefore, he should not risk either Kane Vincent-Young or Ryan Inniss this evening.
I would suggest a 3,5,2 formation along these lines:
Eastman Kent Kpekawa
Wright Jackson Murray Slater Reid
Gilmartin James Comley Lapslie Kabamba Hanlan Loft
Make no mistake, the season has been an indifferent one. After three games unbeaten I think that an element of complacency set in. There is certainly no requirement for such thinking tonight, the U’s will do very well to take anything at Rodney Parade unless they are prepared to compete from the off and to take their chances when presented with them.
JM is unsure of his best XI, he continues to ring the changes but the team must become more settled and he must not be afraid to drop players who are not performing.
We all bemoan the lack of Guthrie and Dickenson, but the players we have are good enough they must learn how to compete and challenge in this League. Tonight, is a classic example where a team who were awful last season are playing out of their skins at present.
Let us see some passion and commitment and the opportunity to grind out a result.
Safe journey to Wales.
Enjoy the game.
Up the U’s
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 19:37:58|
Colchester United v Carlisle United prediction logged
|Cumbrians to be outfoxed at Fortress WHCS by Super U's|
at 19:32 13 Oct 2017
A rejuvenated and revitalised Col U side managed by JM welcome the Cumbrians, who face a 316-mile trip to the WHCS this weekend.
The recent promising results for the Super U’s have been aided by the form of Sean Murray and Doug “sicknote” Loft. Sadly, Loft is likely to miss out this weekend.
This of course is JM biggest problem at present, the inability to play a settled team, which has not helped the early form this season.
Kane Vincent-Young, Kurtis Guthrie (who has suffered a setback in his recovery), Sammy Szmodics and Tom Lapslie will all miss out again this weekend. Craig Slater may also miss out as well.
Birthday boy Mikael Mandron (23) has received rave reviews from JM and the goals are beginning to come for the Frenchman.
Mr versatile, Drey Wright, has played just about everywhere bar the goalkeeper, but this again is mismanagement of a player who really should be playing down the wing in an attacking sense.
Whilst JM ponders his starting XI, Keith Curle is playing 39-year-old Clint Hill for the Cumbrians. The two teams have similar records this season but Colchester must remain favourites given WHCS home advantage.
Colchester follow this home game with two away fixtures at the new improved Rodney Parade with a re-laid pitch on Tuesday evening and then a trip to the Ricoh Arena to play Coventry City. The Railwaymen visit the WHCS at the end of the month.
Of course, JM will be watching to see who ball number 14 plays after Monday night’s draw for the first Round Proper of the Emirates F A Cup, to be played over the weekend of 3-6 November with £18,000 going to the winners. I suppose that a home tie must be preferred.
But back to the Cumbrians and JM’ s team.
A 3,4,3 formation with the following on duty:
Eastman Inniss Kent
Jackson Murray Comley Reid
Wright Mandron Hanlon
Gilmartin Kinsella Kpekawa O’Sullivan James Odelusi Kabamba
Momentum is with the U’s at present and JM will be looking for three more valuable home points tomorrow. If our recent improved Away form can also be evident in South Wales and the Midlands then we could look forward to breaking into the top seven places.
Enjoy the game, enjoy the balmy 20 degrees plus weather on Saturday in Colchester and more importantly enjoy the three points.
Up the U’s
at 16:30 12 Oct 2017
Some bad news, Kurtis Guthrie has received a setback in his return from long term injury whilst Doug Loft and Kane Vincent-Young are doubtful for Saturday.
Let us hope that the club did not rush Guthrie back too soon.
Confidence remains high for Saturday but let us get Guthrie fully fit before doing anything stupid and risking a longer spell on the sidelines.
Up the U's
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 11:40:22|
Colchester United v Mansfield Town prediction logged
|Stags to be hunted down by Super U's at Fortress Weston|
at 02:34 7 Oct 2017
After an encouraging result last weekend at Huish Park, which saw the U’s secure all three points on their travels for the first time this season, JM welcomes Steve Evans and his Stags to the WHCS.
Now forget all about the fact that Mansfield have lost their last 5 games at Colchester and haven’t beaten the U’s since 2003, this will be a tough fixture. Mansfield with an impressive victory over Notts County last week in front of 7,000 supporters will be confident that they can rewrite the record books today.
8th place in the table and with 19 points they are well placed to break into the play-off positions. Meanwhile after an indifferent start to the season the U’s are in 16th place with 12 points.
JM can welcome back Kurtis Guthrie and Craig Slater, two of his most influential players. I suspect that both will start in a 3,4,1,2 formation.
Walker with 38 saves so far this season will look to secure another clean sheet following the Yeovil game. Tuesday night a last-minute winner gave the Gills victory but JM will not worry too much about the Gillingham result. He knows that the league is crucial to our season.
If fit, then Tom Eastman will play alongside Inniss and Kent whilst Slater will join Murray, Reid and Vincent-Young with Wright, Guthrie and Hanlan which gives the team the following look:
Eastman Inniss Kent
Vincent-Young Murray Slater Reid
Gilmartin Jackson Kabamba Senior O’Sullivan James Mandron
Taking the game to the Stags is vital if we are to prevail. A good home performance in front of a 4,000 crowd is crucial to make a statement about our intentions to also fight for a top seven berth.
Enjoy the game.
Up the U’s
|Strong Col U XI looking to cement place at head of Group|
at 19:33 3 Oct 2017
JM has selected a strong XI against the Gills
Kent James Kpekawa Kinsella
Vincent-Young Murray Comley
Odelusi Mandron Guthrie
Gilmartin Jackson Kabamba Senior Hanlan O'Sullivan Slater
Great news to see Guthrie start and Slater on the bench.
Up the U's
PS Kurtis get your contract extension signed ASAP
[Post edited 3 Oct 19:36]
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 20:47:04|
Yeovil Town v Colchester United prediction logged
|There will be a kind of Hush at Yeovil at 4.50pm Saturday|
at 20:44 29 Sep 2017
JM takes his charges to Huish Park on Saturday to do battle with Yeovil Town. Darren Way reckons that all the pressure is on Colchester United and I wouldn’t disagree with him. We have made a wretched start to this campaign. Away form has been abysmal, whilst things are now slipping at the WHCS.
Blundell Park was symptomatic of our season so far. Kyle Reid (POTM) had given the U’s the opportunity to win the game but JM was ultra-defensive, taking off the Coventry loanee and replacing him with Cameron James on 71 minutes. Result Grimsby grew in confidence and just as at Morecambe we capitulated to a last-minute penalty which not only cost two points but also felt like a defeat.
Now JM says that he will delay naming his team until the last minute. Injuries have cost us dear once again. Sammy Szmodics was desperately unlucky to be injured again (it was a bad foul) and will be out for weeks with ankle ligament damage.
We now learn that Hanlan is carrying a groin injury. Slater was similarly afflicted last season and look what happened to him. Tom Eastman is also facing a late fitness test.
Frankly it is a mess and looks to be getting worse rather than better. Whilst Guthrie and Slater are close to returning they should not be rushed back tomorrow or else we could be back to square one.
So, let us look at just who JM has available – Obviously Walker, Jackson, Kent, Inniss and Vincent-Young. Wright, Comley, Reid, Murray, Marmite AKA Tom Lapslie, Kinsella, Kabamba, Odelusi, Mandron and Kpekawa.
Yeovil have hot shot Fela Olomola from Soton who has scored 5 goals for the Glovers, they also have the confidence of a morale boosting mid-week win at Chez Vegas.
Will JM try an attacking formation or will he go ultra-defensive. Personally, I want to see the U’s take the game to Yeovil. We do not have the ability at present (or the players) to see out a game so attack has to be the message.
Until Dickenson, Guthrie and Slater return to stiffen up (and vastly improve) the team, JM must opt to play those who are in form and to not be afraid to drop players like Mandron, who frankly was woeful on Tuesday night.
If Eastman is fit he must play otherwise an appearance as sub perhaps.
Something like this for tomorrow in a 3,5,2 formation:
Vincent-Young Inniss Kent
Jackson Comley Murray Lapslie Reid
Gilmartin Kinsella Odelusi James Mandron Loft Eastman
Let us see if Guthrie and Slater are fit for Mansfield in a week’s time.
Safe journey to the travelling faithful.
Up the U’s
In other news Freddie Ladapo looks set to lead the line for the Eagles at Old Trafford tomorrow.
[Post edited 29 Sep 20:50]
|Travel sickness and another late penalty cost the U's points at Blundell Park|
at 00:43 28 Sep 2017
A tremendous fish n chip supper, good company, a point away from home – so why did I travel back to Durham very much down in the dumps. Simply because we should have secured all three points.
A good journey down from Durham to North Lincolnshire (140 miles). Motorways (including the new section of the A1(M) from Catterick to Bedale recently opened, leaving only the section to Barton to be completed) all were clear and it was only the last 5 or so miles when we encountered the sea fret which would impact upon the game at various intervals.
My son and I met up with Gerry on Cleethorpes Pier recently refurbished and resplendent with Papas 500-seater Fish N Chip restaurant. Now Gerry and I both have affiliation to Margate in Kent and it was there in 1966 that Papas started their restaurant business. Fast forward to 2017 and they have a classic restaurant on the pier and absolutely top-notch fish n chips. I had a medium haddock and it was truly superb, cooked to perfection with very tasty chips and garden peas. The syrup sponge to follow was equally enjoyable and set us up for the evening’s entertainment.
Now Blundell Park was just over a third full with 3,438 spectators including 89 from Colchester. I would have thought that the true figure was closer to 150, but in the sea fret conditions it was difficult to see everyone!
The pitch as you would expect for September was immaculate and the U’s lined up thus:
Jackson Innis Kent Vincent-Young
Wright Loft Comley Reid
Gilmartin Kinsella Kabamba Odelusi James Szmodics Murray.
Scott Vernon (former promotion season favourite) played 78 minutes for the home team and was given an ovation by the faithful.
Now to be fair to JM he set up in an attacking formation and took the game to Russell Slade’s Grimsby from the outset.
MOTM was undoubtedly Kyel Reid who fizzed in some wicked corners. In fact, after 5 minutes he created the first of his two goals from a corner that he took and when it was parried by the keeper Reid purposefully edged towards the centre of the goal and struck a ferocious shot which appeared to deceive the keeper and go through his legs and into the net.
Sadly, the U’s defensive weaknesses didn’t take long to manifest themselves. A long through ball towards JJ Hooper was comfortably going to be cleared by Ryan Inniss but he elected to dither on the ball and it was pinched from under his feet by Hooper who slotted past Walker.
Inniss had a nightmare first half and gave the ball away shortly afterwards but fortunately for the U’s the ball was blazed over the bar.
Dembele hit the post with Walker beaten for the hosts but in truth it would have been rough justice for the U’s who dominated proceedings.
The sea fret started to roll in but it seemed to be affecting the home supporters in the Pontoon Stand rather more than the faithful who sang loud and proud throughout the first half. As quickly as it arrived the mist departed and half time brought no changes in personnel.
Immediately after the restart Colchester again took the initiative and took the game to their opponents. It was the lively Kyel Reid who scored a superb second after good work down the left wing, his shot with the outside of his boot was delightfully steered into the corner of the net from just insider the penalty area.
The U’s were deservedly ahead (again) and the faithful shouted “how **** must you be, we’re winning away”. At this point the sea fret retuned with a vengeance and thoughts turned to an abandonment but again the mist cleared sufficiently for the game to continue.
Now I know that Reid has been injured but he was not only our most influential player but also the Grimsby defence had no answer to his mazy runs. It was disappointing therefore to see him replaced in the 71st minute by James as JM foolishly decided to hang onto what we had. Worse still the lively Hanlan was also removed and replaced by Sammy Szmodics whilst the ineffectual and frankly useless Mandron stayed on. I wonder if he is in some way related to Joel Grant.
Sammy Szmodics had little time to influence the game before he was fouled by Summerfield only 6 minutes after coming on. He went down and stayed down in obvious agony. The medics stretchered him off after 78 minutes to be replaced by Sean Murray.
We wish Sammy well and trust that he will not be out for too long.
The foolishness of JM’s tactics became all too clear when we started to play deeper in our own half and this of course encouraged the Mariners on.
The home faithful at last woke up and the atmosphere increased. Matt was fouled by Jackson in the 89th minute and the penalty was duly despatched by Jones. It was not only a kick in the teeth but also extended my winless run of games whilst watching the U’s incredibly to three years.!!!!
I was both angry and distraught in equal measure. Shades of Morecambe last season where an 88th minute penalty denied us all three points.
5 added minutes failed to separate the teams and so we clocked up our first away point of the season, but it should have been three.
In truth this was an undeserved point for the Mariners but incredibly Slade reckoned that they were the better team. Even the most partisan Mariner would be hard pressed to justify that assertion and Slade is clearly deluded if he believes otherwise.
JM will argue that we must see games out but bringing defenders on and playing deeper simply encouraged the home team.
It is great news that Slater and Guthrie will be returning soon, they cannot come back quickly enough. Mikael Mandron is simply not good enough. I have seen him twice now at Accrington and Grimsby and he is ineffectual, fails to find a colleague with his passing and I cannot remember him actually shooting at goal last night.
Note to JM, Billy Kee scored twice more last night. He has so far notched 8 goals for the Lancashire club this season.
JM was definitely wrong to take Reid off and also wrong to leave Mandron on whilst taking Hanlan off. The best way to defend a lead is to play in the opponent’s penalty area not allow them to push our hard-pressed defence back and back.
Saturday will mark almost the first quarter of the season. The U’s are already 9 points off the play offs and Yeovil warmed up for their clash at Huish Park with the U’s with a 3-2 away win at almost doomed Chez Vegas.
Drop Mandron, play Hanlan and Kabamba up front. Use Reid and Jackson and be more positive in the final third of the game.
The fact is that we have lost five of the first ten games and conceded 18 goals. Our away from is wretched and so much pressure is being put on the home form that we have slipped dangerously in the league.
JM must be positive at Yeovil and look to secure that elusive first way win of the season.
Get well soon Sammy.
Up the U’s
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